Our plummeting collective wisdom

By: | Abdul Moiz Malik |

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You switch on your TV and you won’t get even a modicum of an idea that 2 days ago, Pakistan was hit with the with its biggest terrorist attack after the traumatic APS attack. What happened in Mastung was so gruesome and horrible that no words would be enough to express the condolences on the incident. It was horrific, inconsolable and gut-wrenching. The incident that should have jolted our souls and made us deeply apprehensive about what was to come in the future and how we’re still enmeshed in this menace of terrorism.

We should have unanimously expressed our grief and sympathized with our Baloch brothers, but no, what we did instead was to put on was a display of the quintessential moral decay that brings the worst out of us in the face of such tragedies.

Begining with our soon to be – almost confirmed – Prime Minister Imran Khan who thought it was sensible to ponder over a possible Sharif-RAW nexus before offering his condolences. He tweeted his confusion that why was it that whenever Sharifs are in trouble, terror incidents suddenly rise.
A man who will seemingly be the PM in next few days, who leads one of the biggest party and who has millions of followers blindly adhering to every word of his, tweeting something like this is totally inane and unjustifiable. The reason that tweet is still on his timeline tells that he actually meant that. Now, it’s election season and a bit of mud-slinging on your opponents is understandable but flagrantly politicizing a bomb blast just for the sake of your petty point scoring is akin to trivializing the grief of those who lost their loved ones.

This is repulsive.

A present day “sufi” and a veneered musician of the past re-tweeted a tweet in which loss of life was mentioned, captioning it junoon se aur ishq se milti hai azadi, qurbani ki bahon main milti hai azadi.

Again, this tweet is still present on his timeline.

Now such mindless statements from our politicians and bigwigs aren’t new. The first thing they do in the wake of any tragedy is to lower their moral compass and shun all their sensibility. There are many unfathomable statements that are there to give you a jitter. For PTI too, this isn’t the first time. In the past there were people who have linked APS to Nawaz-Modi conspiracy to alleviate pressure on the government and end PTI’s sit in. Also, every time there was an escalation in tensions on the line of control, they surmised that Nawaz was phoning Modi to do this. However, meak they look to you, the fact remains that these are the people who’re there to represent us and make laws for us.

For Khan, this is particularly insensitive because of the following, he has the kind of blind followers who cling on to everything their leader says and will rip apart every notion of common sense to justify it. We don’t even try and think how rational it is. Our baffling love for conspiracy theories has made us this way that we don’t even think what we’re believing in and how daft it’ll make us look. It inundates our basic thinking that’s why I wasn’t surprised when the very night, I got a similar statement as a WhatsApp forwarded message linking Mastung attack to a clandestine deal between Nawaz Sharif and Modi. The very next day, I saw people posting this same thing on Facebook one of whom was a friend of mine studying journalism.
Off to work, I was unlucky to find a seat in the bus next to an uncle who was reading about the incident in the newspaper and turning to me saying, ‘yeh sab Nawaz sharif ne karwaya hai jail se bachney k liye’. I didn’t even bother to argue with him because 20 minutes of my rationalizing wouldn’t not change his obdurate views, rather only have made me despise him more.

This isn’t restricted to one single attack, after every attack you’ll see these abhorring views that will put you in a bewilderment whether to mourn the attack or the mindset of our people. People are out with their repugnant opinions as whom to mourn and whom not to, my ways of mourning are better than yours, you’re mourning this but didn’t mourn that, whether we should commiserate the killings of those whom we consider heretics, is it OK to kill in the name of honor, how justified it is to lynch a man on the allegation of blasphemy, or who is Shaheed and who’s not. All this makes the environment so suffocating that it kills every last hope you have to see a better Pakistan.

We’re infested with this. A united and robust response in the aftermath of any tragedy is far cry because we are more concerned with conspiracy theories that suit our diabolical minds. After all, we’re the dimwits who believe Malala is an agent and APS was an inside job. So, what better can be expected from us than this wanton exhibition of rotten conscience and moral turpitude?

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